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Sweet Disorder

(Lively St. Lemeston #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,434 ratings  ·  288 reviews
Politics can make spectacular bedfellows…

Prickly newspaperman’s widow Phoebe Sparks has vowed never to marry again. Unfortunately, the election in Lively St. Lemeston is hotly contested, and the little town’s charter gives Phoebe the right to make her husband a voter—if she had one.

The Honorable Nicholas Dymond has vowed never to get involved in his family's aristocrat
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published June 17th 2017 (first published March 18th 2014)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  1,434 ratings  ·  288 reviews

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Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Not so much a book review as me blathering about my favorite themes and passages from the book

You all did not lead me astray! This was really good, there were some pacing problems in the beginning for me, I like my main couple to be more centric and interacting with one another, but the second half implemented that more and very well. This author's style felt like a cross between Courtney Milan (use of underlining themes and heroines) and Grace Burrowes (full framework of world and secondary c
Aww, nothing like escaping the horrors of an upcoming presidential election with a good ye' old bodice-ripper, huh?

Uh, no.

When I think of Regency-era romance, I usually think of balls, the ton, the London season, and lots of puffy dresses. This was not that kind of book. It was about politics, the working class, and more politics.

It seems that politics were dirty even back then. Who'd have guessed? I thought everyone was honest and noble and trustworthy in the olden days....right?

The weather is
K.J. Charles
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, politics, het
This was very interesting. A Regency set amid politics and the middle class, with a widow who finds herself in need of a husband, the grossly corrupt politics and vote buying of the time; a realistic attitude to how people had sex. The injured veteran is really, painfully injured; the heroine is actually fat, not the usual size 10 masquerading as fat, and the way the hero perceives her is wonderfully contrasted with the way other characters dismiss her. These are non-perfect people who are perfe ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hr, perfect, 5-stars
I wish I could simply copy/paste the whole book as a review. It would certainly save me time and brain activity.

Anyone with a passion for books will know the feeling of a book hangover. With the last page read, a feeling of deflation settles in and sorrow for saying goodbye to characters I've come to love, a plot that kept me glued and a writing that made me re-read passages again and again because they were so beautifully put into words. Courtney Milan's books do that to me, Meredith Duran, Ce
Jacob Proffitt
Mar 27, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
At 13% in, I just can't. The backdrop of this is tawdry and what isn't tawdry feels like an assertiveness brochure for lonely overweight girls with an extra insert for how mean men are. Except for our hero, Nick, of course, because he's a sensitive war hero (with a limp!) who loves (even writes) poetry and uses Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage as a meditation piece when he's in pain (mental or physical, they're all the same to him). Plus, he has a thing for "the plump one" so you know he's ext ...more
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I read this book for the Unapologetic Romance Readers' New Years 2017 Reading Challenge. For more info about what this is, click here.

Well, reading this romance novel was a little bittersweet because SWEET DISORDER marks the completion of my 2017 romance reading challenge: or, my personal goal to read 50 different subgenres of romance, many of which I would never pick up otherwise, in an attempt to broaden my horizons.

I've given this an A- at AAR, although it was < > this close to being an A:) 4.5 stars.

Sweet Disorder
sees the very welcome return to the publishing world of Rose Lerner, whose two previous novels, In for a Penny and A Lily Among Thorns I enjoyed very much.

This book, the first in a series set in the town of Lively St. Lemeston, presents us with a different take on the Regency Romance and paints a wonderful portrait of small-town life in early nineteenth century England. The hero is the son of a
Nov 03, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Fat heroine and a book that actually puts a plus-sized model on the cover? Wow. Sign me up immediately, please. Do want.
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rose Lerner is always going to write about something totally unique and this book was no exception. Very well written as always. The reason I struggled with this one was because she skated a bit too close to the bone on how my relationship was with my sister and my relationship with my mother. I am not faulting LR for that, that is just how it happens sometime. Authors zero in on a situation that grinds right over your last nerve and that was how this book was at times. Other times the naughty t ...more
Sam (AMNReader)
Happy sighs, going to hug my kobo while I fall asleep now...
Alexis Hall
This book makes me feel like this:

Elisabeth Lane and I discussed it over at the AAR blog fairly recently:

AJH: I should probably warn you, I’m going to be useless for this. I have literally nothing to say about this book that isn’t ‘omg I loved that’.

Elisabeth: Well, this is going to be a short review then since I felt much the same way. So…SQUEE. See you next month?

AJH: Maybe can just replace ourselves with a set of wildly joyous reaction gifs?

Elisabeth: Honestly, I think that’s a fabulous idea.
2.5 stars? I know more than I ever wanted about the ins and outs of small town election machinations anyway, so there's that.

It's drab. The only time they (or I) had any fun at all was during SexyTimes, which were, admittedly, delightful. The rest of the time the two leads are dealing with all kinds of baggage from their pasts, horrible mothers, burdensome siblings, and various assorted townspeople who all need a good smack--except Moon, the sweetmaker, he can stay.

The rare bout of slap and tick
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Setting: Regency England

Its a battle between the Whigs and the Tories in the town of Lively St. Lemeston.
In Rose Lerner's first book "Sweet Disorder" it looks like to be a promising new series. War hero Nick Dymond returns to his family with a wound to his leg but most of all to his soul. But his family is consumed it seems with the current election in which his younger brother is a candidate. They even go so far as to get him to find a husband for widow Phoebe Sparks because in order to win th
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hawt-sex
GO AND READ THIS RIGHT NOW. Blimey, Rose Lerner can't half write. This is a romance set during an early nineteenth century election in a provincial English town. This sounds dull [not to me, because I am a historian turned lawyer, but it doesn't sound as if it would be everyone's bag]. It isn't dull, it's wonderful. The hero is an injured soldier. Injured heroes are my catnip. The heroine is a voluptuous (like, actually, not just as a euphemism for big tits) newspaper editor and author. GO AND R ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in a small town in the English countryside during the Regency period, we follow the politicking around the local election and how it affects the young widow Phoebe Sparks.

Phoebe is approached by both the Tory and Whig parties to marry and thus enfranchise whoever she marries to cast the deciding vote in the local election. While she's disinclined to marry at all, her circumstances suddenly change when her younger sister gets in trouble and she ends up having to consider it. Enter the Whig r
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Finally finished! This was a slower read than I am accustomed to, partly because I switched mid-book to a different book. This is not common for me, and my finally finishing had more to do with a need to be done with it than a desire to see the resolution come about.

- unusual setting - early 19th century England (not unusual), but the part of that world was struggling middle- and working-class for the most part, and the focus was an upcoming election. It was very interesting and seemed well
For some very weird reason I seem to be the only one of my Goodreads friends who didn't love this book. I can't even pinpoint what I didn't like, because there are a number of very strong reasons for reading and enjoying this: the writing is excellent, the characters are interesting (she's actually from a working-class background, widowed, poor (but still independent), while he's nobility, so bonus points for originality on that), and the setting is not London for a chance, but some small town d ...more
This was fine, but I shouldn't have picked it.

I'm throwing in the towel. I'm not cut out for regency romance.
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Favorite Quote: “You’re one of the somebodiest somebodies I ever met.”

Phoebe lives in Lively St. Lemeston, a town with an upcoming election. Phoebe is poor, living in two small, cramped attic rooms and barely supports herself by writing stories for young girls for a publication. Her husband printed the town’s newspaper but died, leaving Phoebe’s brother-in-law, Jack in charge. Phoebe has no desire to get married again, but she owns her late husband’s vote. A vote that is essentially trying to be
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars

My first Rose Lerner and I was quite happy with the story and the characters. I don't read very much regency at all, but I think that might change now that I know how great it can be. This series and this author come highly recommended and I'm glad I picked this book up. It was just what I needed to brighten up the dark days of winter.

4.25 Stars

I read Rose Lerner's debut historical romance, In For a Penny, years ago and enjoyed it. She has a refreshing voice that reminds me of Courtney Milan, Mary Balogh, and Carla Kelly. Sweet Disorder is the first book in this series which consists of stories that take place in the small British village of Lively St. Lemeston. In particular, this book focuses on an upcoming local election and provides the readers with a sweet (and spicy) love story between two people from different parts of
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Warning: Contains elections, confections, and a number of erections".
If you think that in our hyper political times courting of voters is intense and sometime over the top, welcome to Lively St. Lemston of 1812. Tories and Whigs, love and politics, lust and common sense, courage and cowardice drew battle lines and collide in this small West Sussex town on the eve of election. Every vote counts! Under the town charter, "every freeman of the town has the right to vote...The eldest daughter of a
Eva Müller
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regency, romance
A part of me is going:
"You know this book wasn't perfect, right?"

And the other is going:

Because it was just so much fun.

Not only the main couple are adorable, I quickly fell in love with almost everybody. That was also thanks to the fact that there was no real black and white division into heroes and villains. (Sadly the exception are the main character's mothers, neither of them has has much of a redeeming quality. I can just about life with that as their actions do influence the plot, they don
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
This is a wonderful cross-class romance that doesn't feel at all "cross-class." This is thanks to the ebullient, loving, funny, writer-heroine, the widow, Phoebe Sparks, who can easily ask and take pleasure for herself, but not love. The hero, Nick Dymond, a hero of the Peninsular Wars, is apathetic and purposeless when the novel opens. But in fulfilling his mission to find a husband for Phoebe, in order to ensure her vote for his brother's election in the riding of Lively St. Lemeston, he comes ...more
“Love wasn’t selfless, and it wasn’t selfish either. Love was equality. It was saying that another person’s self was just as important as yours, and expecting them to feel the same way.”

3.5 stars

My first Rose Lerner book and I was truly impressed. I loved that it was set in a small town, far removed from high society, and featured characters of lower status in realistic and not always rosy situations. This book felt like a breath of fresh air with its true to life world and all the areas of
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was an unusual historical and I really liked it! Phoebe is the independent widow of a small town newspaper printer, who now supports herself by writing and selling stories. While, as a woman, she can't vote in the upcoming election, she holds her fathers' vote in trust that will be given to any future husband she might have. This makes her a valuable asset to both the Whig and Tory parties, and officials from both camps maneuver to find her a husband from their own party. Phoebe has no desi ...more
Pam Faste aka Peejakers
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves romance, anyone who loves vulnerable heroes
Recommended to Pam by: Alexis Hall raved about it on Twitter!
This book, for me, was just an utter joy to read. Well, except for a few pages there, that had me sitting on my living room couch last night, literally sobbing over a brief setback near the end ;) But then, that's the comfort of reading genre romance, you know that ultimately it will all end well :)

Anyway, as I said in one of my status updates, I think Rose Lerner is my new, favorite het romance author. I'm recommending the hell out of this book & will definitely be reading more by this this au
Pamela Shropshire
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phoebe Sparks is a struggling middle-class widow who doesn't want to remarry. However, the Whigs and Tories are competing to find a husband for her, because her husband will be entitled to vote. The problem is, she finds herself drawn to the election agent for the Whigs, Nicholas Dymond. But he is a son of an Earl and not of her social class, so she knows she can never marry him. Then to make matters worse, her younger, unmarrried sister confesses that she's pregnant by a married man and Phoebe ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars. This is a hard book to rate. I liked that our characters were flawed and the world in this book wasn't black & white. I hate when some characters are portrayed as eeevil and our heroes are the only good people. Here we have two persons that are a little messed up by their pasts and also current circumstances. The people around them don't really appreciate them, and that's why I love that they found each other.

The heroine is not just a little plump, she really admits to being fat, and
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a refreshing take on the regency romance genre. It was nice to read about ordinary, middle-class characters, which are often left entirely out of the genre. I also liked how the ending, while happy, wasn't some magical fairy-tale ending where all family troubles were solved with a group hug. Nick and Phoebe were both great characters and the conflicts to them getting together were organic to the plot. There was no 'I love him/her so much but I'm unworthy so we can never be together' wan ...more
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I discovered historical romance when I was twelve, and took my first stab at writing one a few years later. My prose has improved since then, but my fascination with all things Regency hasn’t changed. When I'm not writing and researching my own stories, or helping other authors write and research theirs over at Rose Does The Research, you can find me reading, watching, cooking, doodling, rambling, ...more

Other books in the series

Lively St. Lemeston (3 books)
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“Love wasn’t selfless, and it wasn’t selfish either. Love was equality. It was saying that another person’s self was just as important as yours, and expecting them to feel the same way.” 5 likes
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